>> when did you collect it and when did you get it? >> starting from president nixon. after every year, all of the house residence staff, they got presents from the president. and i've got four from each president that only served one term. i've got eight from the other presidents that served two terms which made me have more, you know, so much more and it was everything, man. the bowls that set up there that president bush gave us and you get a chance, you look at it and they've got the name and date and everything in there, a lot of it was during the bicentennial year. >> just looking at your collection here, i've seen personal notes from richard
nixon, ronald reagan, bill clinton, hillary rodham clinton just to name a few. >> yes, that's the truth and they really-- well, i got to know the presidents very well. by meeting them, going back and forth through the hallway. sometime they come down and i would be up on the ladder cleaning the-- the light globes. we had light globes went from one end of the hallway to the other and it's my responsibility to make sure they were clean every monday and sometimes they'd come down and i'd get off the ladder and wouldn't speak to them, i would respect them and good morning, mr. president and then get back up and do my work and stuff. but jimmy carter, he-- well, president clinton, he was very special because when i
lost my mother and he came downstairs going to the oval office and i spoke to him and he came over to me and he said, steve, he said i heard that you had lost your mother and he said, you have my sympathy. he said i've been there and the same thing happened when i lost my father, which was a year or two later. he came to me and he said the same thing. and he sent me my-- every birthday he sent me a card. i got, i don't know, about 10 or 15 of those things and every birthday he would send me one. and president carter, he had taken the cake and this is what happened. most of us that worked at the white house had never been to camp david. i was one of them. and i'd never been to camp david, i'd heard a lot about it, but i knew it was--
it was the president's retreat where they would go out and play golf or enjoy themselves, didn't have to worry about the country too much. i guess they had all of their phones and things with them, but mostly just enjoying themselves. so one sunday, we was getting ready for christmas and we had 13 days to always get ready for christmas, set up christmas tree, fix the chandeliers, i cleaned in the east room from ceiling to floor. four of them. and i had to clean all of the windows and the chandeliers in the bowling alley, they had mirrors in the bowling alley that went from one wall all the way down to the other wall, and the same thing on the other side and that was my responsibility to keep all of those mirrors clean, even up where they had the gymnasium. they had windows all over the place because people liked to
watch themselves when they're working out in the gym. okay now, getting back to president carter, on one sunday, we got the order that president carter had told them to get everybody ready, he would want to take them up to camp david for dinner. man, we were all kind of excited. all of us got out and left work and left, and nobody had a chance to wash off or take no baths or nothing, we just grabbed tuxedos and we put on tuxedos and we were sharp and dirty. [laughter] i mean, because we had been working and sweating getting ready for the christmas day because we were there was a lot of parties going on. so he took us up to camp david and we got up and he introduced all of us and we walked around and everything, they had all of
the tables, all big round tables set up with all of the trimming, you know, just like we were professionals, you know? a lot of us didn't know anything about five or six water glasses on the table and eight or nine pieces of silverware. we didn't know anything about that, which spoon goes where and which fork goes where. anyway, we got there and had separate tables, i think it was six-- i think it's six or eight was to a table. and they-- president carter got up and he asked blessing over the food and then the butlers went around and pouring out the wine in the glasses. so everybody had a nice glass and he poured one-- went around and poured out the wine and everybody was just, we were just so happy and laughing and smiling, when it got to president carter the butler was kind of new and he poured wine
into president carter's glass and president carter, he stood up and he said, steve, i said, yes, mr. president, i stood up. he said you know i'm religious and i don't drink wine. he said would you like to have mine? >> and i said, yes, sir, mr. president. so he reached over and handed me the glass of wine and i had two glasses of wine in my hand, everybody else had one and that drank mine instantly and i had one more left and sat down awn taking my time and i sipped the wipe and finally it was gone and then we had a big glass of cold ice water on the table and then all kind of dessert and everything, we really had a fabulous time. so when we got back to the white house, all of the guys said to me when we went in through the south portico, the
big doors they go out into the round diplomate and reception lounge and the guys tell me, steve, man, we're really surprised and ashamed. >> what are you talking about? >> he said you drank the president's wine. i said, well, man he offered it to me and i said you never tell the president no. they looked at me and they said, you're smart. >> i said, no, you never tell the president no. but that's why he gave-- that's why i drank his wine and it was good wine and i was ready to drink some more, but we had a good time and we left from there and we went back-- straight back to the white house, taking off our tuxedos and all of that stuff and back into our work clothes and i went back up on the scaffold because i had to finish the
chandeliers and everybody else was hanging christmas wreaths and putting up the christmas tree and all of that kind of stuff, but it was a wonderful experience, man. i just can't tell you just how wonderful it was. >> and stewart calvin stevens, sr., the book is called "the white house chandeliers", my experiences working for seven presidents, worked from 1970 to 2002. where can people find the book? >> well, we have it on our website, which is stewart stevens, sr. dot-- >>.com. >>.com and we also have it in a couple of book stores and we're working to get it into some more book stores and we go around to different places to
sell our books. >> so we can find it on-line as well, correct? >> yes, sir, you can find it on-line, thank you for your time and thank you for being with book tv today and thank you for having us in your home. >> we're in oldtown in scottsdale, arizona where book tv is learning more about the city of rich literary, next to guidon books, a bookstore that works on civil war and old west history. >> guidon books was started in 1964 by my parents, and they wanted to open a western history and civil war bookstore in scottsdale and the first store was on main street. and there's a story that when somebody saw what was going in, they told my father, well, you're only going to be here six months and it's now been over 52 years that we've been in scottsdale. guidon books, what i believe is
libby custer, george's wife, wrote three books when she was travelling or after she was travelling with her husband, and one of the books was following the guidon. my father was a great custer collector and my mother loved the civil war and enarmored with the west and it's military. we've got books on western american history and we focused a lot on arizona. of course, the southwest indians, the apaches and navajo history and a lot of people enjoy reading about tombstone, the wyatt earp and the doc holiday, and the supersition mountains south of here looking for the lost dutchman mine, but they're also interested in cowboys. there are a lot of early cowboy recollections.
how-toes. >> custer again, a great selection of custer and then the civil war. scottsdale has one of the largest civil war round tables so we have people interested in the civil war here. we have a small connection to the actual events during the civil war. lincoln created the separate territory of arizona in 1863. he wanted to be sure that our mining properties, the gold and silver, stayed with the union. arizona was part of new mexico territory. it was more leaning towards the confederate. there had been a large texas contingency in there. they came over, did a little bit of an invasion into southern arizona, had a battle at the peak. very small, but it presents an opportunity for arizonians to go and have a reenactment where
there are more soldiers and the reenactment has been. but people come to arizona to live, but they come from somewhere else and a lot of them maybe had relatives that fought in the civil war. so they are still interested in learning about their family, what they did and the battles. reading about arizona because it is such a young state. the 48th state, it also has the combination of being a great frontier. it had the element of hostile indians. it had the element of mining and lost mines. and cowboys and out laws. you have that combination within the past 100 years. and it just provides great stories where people can get interested, but i think that
guidon is important not only for bringing an avenue for people to read books, but also supporting the whole arizona culture. the whole story of marsh trembel getting his first book published: we're great supporters of the arizona history convention which puts on an annual event each year. and it just becomes important to get people interested in history, keep them interested, and getting our younger generation interested in reading more. >> book tv is in scottsdale, arizona. learning more about the city's literary scene. up next, we spoke about his time growing up on route 66, bob boze. >> my family took a road trip every august to the family farm in compton, iowa. we'd leave early. my mom would pack the night before and at 3 a.m. we were up and ready to roll leaving before light and i don't think
we left, we escaped. there's nothing more magnificent to be on the road in the early twilight hours. >> i never understood the attraction of route 66 or why it was such a big deal. it was just a road to me. and about four years ago, my wife got assignment in spain and so i went along because i wanted to find the ground zero for the cowboy, i had a theory, if i could find where the conquistadors emanated from and find their ground zero, i would find the cowboys. because it's the con keys ses y- conquistadors, and they brought the cowboys in the world. i was in roto, spain, turns out was the place that columbus set
sail on his second expedition to the united states-- to the new world. and he left there in boats and so i stood there for 20 minutes and took it all in and got ready to leave. i turned around and on the beach i spied the route 66 bar in spain. and it hit me like a ton of bricks, i get it, i get it. they spent the horse, they sent cattle, they sent the european traditions to us and we sent to them the lend of a highway and at that moment i realized this is an international road, a legend and i lived on it. i grew up on it. now, what's weird is when i was a little kid, i was at my father's gas station, i was so into western history and i would look up and i would go nothing ever happened in kingman, arizona, this is the dumbest place you could ever live.
history is what happened in tombstone, arizona. dodge city, kansas, deadwood, dakota. nothing happened here. well, fast forward about ten years ago i got a call from a writer and he said i read about your article of your father's gas station and arizona highways and i had a he like to interview. i said sure. he goes, the first very, the very first thing he asked me was what was it like growing up in such a historic place? the weird thing was i did not know he -- i was growing up on this highway. and my mother washed for the highway department. in the summer when i would go to college i worked for the highway department in the summer so i made my living from it, my dad did, my mother, so to me, it was just another road. just two lane blacktop and no
big deal, of course, in the summertime, in my dad's gas station, he had to put on night crews, it was 24/7. the traffic was almost bumper to bumper because everyone was trying to get to california and here we were the last stop before you get there. well, kingman, arizona is in the northwest quadrant of arizona and it's up in this area that was so unpopulated at the time, there was like 5,000 people in an entire county and this is one of the fifth largest counties in the country, okay? the kids would come to my high school and they had to be bused in from the outlying ranching areas and in some cases all the way up towards utah and get on the bus in the dark and get off and go home in the dark. that's how isolated this area was. when route 66 was popping in the 1950's, here we were this isolated area that could barely get television and these cars
were coming in from all over the country with hipster kids and they had intertubes on the top of the car and people are laughing and everything and we're like, whoa, this is weird. well, the traffic on route 66 was always a good clip. because this was the mother road and this is the road to california, but in the summertime it just got crazy and my father had to hire extra help and work around the clock, eight hour shifts. my job in those days was the jugs. because there was no air conditioning. and they had the jugs, and they melted and it's my job to ask if they'd have any jugs they'd like ice in. i'd take it to the lube room and put ice in it and get a tip.
every year my father would take an idea and his idea was to visit the family farm in iowa. my father was old school. we had to get up at 4 a.m. had to drive an hour before we could get breakfast and we were going eastbound and we were meeting everybody westbound, laughing on their way to disneyland and on the way to the beach and we're norwegians going to iowa for the family farm. here we are and all of a sudden i remember looking out the window and there would be these signs that would go acrossed mesa and he would say gas, regular, 19.9. clean restrooms. world's largest buffalo. and i would go, dad, dad, can we stop? and we got into new mexico and it got worse. it said live, as opposed to i guess the other kind.
dad, could we stop? could we stop? and i realized my father was not going to stop except for maybe gas, food, oil, it wasn't open woundsment we had to get to iowa so we could eat five times a day and talk about crops. and on the way back, dad, give me one place to stop when we come back. and he said we will if we have time. and i started poking him. there's a place and come on, dad. come on, you promised me, you promised me. >> passed 18 a time and he swung that 57 ford into the parking lot and he said, kid, you've got 15 minutes. and so, those were the most precious 15 minutes of my life and i went into this museum and i was hooked.
in fact, you could draw after direct line for that experience to me owning the magazine. to me, it was amazing-- in fact, it looked like this room. everything you see here i'm emulating the craft on the wall in the museum and tried to replicate it. and i had this and bought it, i put it on the wall. and before i go to school i'd look at that photo and i've got to have a hat like that, a rifle like that, i'm going to have everything that's in this photo. well, about a week later. my mom had to go down to desert downtown kingman to get a preparation filled. and i ran up to the office and i told the true stories of the west and i brought up issues
and while my mom was talking to imagine at the prescription department. i discovered that the photography bought at the long horn museum as a kid was a fake! i am so mad now that they sold me a fake photo. it was taken at a parade in 1937 or something like that in santa fe and somebody said, hey, george, you look like billy the kid, get up there on that flatbed. >> so i was so bad now, that i missed the beatles on ed sullivan, missed the hoola hoop craze. why? because i was in the library trying to figure out what wild west heroes and legends were actually true and that led me to owning true west magazine. well, the thing that was so bizarre and ironic, we didn't know it at the time is, one summer in 1967 and then the next summer 1968, i washed on
the bypass, i was i-40. which became i-40 and i remember them coming through and putting stakes in the ground north of our house and they asked us what we were center. >> and later on i-40, i worked on it, i didn't realize we were killing the very thing, we were killing the goose that laid the golden egg. we didn't see that, it was progress and cut out 15 miles where it goes to hackbury. it was going to cut across it and oh, how super modern is that? we will have a new highway and it's going to be wonderful. >> well, as soon as that highway opened, it was like pth hose clumps at each end of town and the bypass happened. you cut off the oxygen, everybody in the middle of that
died. there were places out of business within a year and some took longer, but they eventually-- in fact, it's sad for me to drive through kingman, the part that i grew up in, because so much of it is so for lorn, and when you buy the magged is a vacant lot. very sat. one message that the books is pay attention. i wanted to reach that nine-year-old boy and reach them and hopefully excite them about the history of our country. >> you're watching book tv on c-span 2 with top-notch people. >> television for serious readers. readers. >> you teach philosophy at